This abandoned railway was built in the late 1860s by the Pennsylvania Railroad. It connected with the main PRR line SW of Philadelphia at Chester, PA, and traveled through Ashton and Lenni, and then linked up with what today is SEPTA's West Chester route. The line diverged a short distance later and traveled along US 1 through Chester Heights, Markham, Ward, and into Chadds Ford. Total route length was 15.2 miles. In 1971, a hurricane washed out portions of both lines, and it was decided that the cost repair was not worth it, and the lines were abandoned. Approximately 90% of the entire line remains intact.
Today, the Octoraro Railway operates the former Reading line from Wilmington, DE, through Chadds Ford Junction (intersecting with this line) and then to Coatesville, PA, on the Philadelphia to Harrisburg main.
See also the western end of this entire right-of-way, The Octoraro Banch, also abandoned.